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RADICAN’S NJPW “THE NEW BEGINNING IN OSAKA” 2018 PPV REPORT
FEB. 10, 2018
AIRED LIVE ON NJPW WORLD
(1) Katsuya Kitamura vs. Yuji Nagata – Trial Series Match #6. Kitamura has not won a match in his trial series as of yet. Kitamura grabbed a front facelock that Nagata had a hard time negotiating his way out of during the early going. Nagata began working over Kitamura’s arm. He grabbed a submission, but Kitamura got to the ropes. Kitamura mounted a comeback with a big shoulder tackle. Both men went for a side suplex at the same time, but it was Kitamura that powered through and hit one for a 2 count. Kitamura got a torture rack, but Nagata managed to slide behind him with a choke. Kitamura threw him off and continued to work him over. Both men exchanged slaps across the face. Nagata grabbed him and told him to hit him. They continued to slap each other across the face. Kitamura finally collapsed. He then fired up after a pair of running boots from Nagata. He caught a third running boot attempt and hit a powerbomb. Kitamura followed up with a spear for a 2 count. Nagata countered Kitamura a short time later when he went for the jackhammer and got the white eyes arm bar. He turned it into a cross arm breaker, but Kitamura got the ropes. Nagata hit a PK for a near fall and the fans gasped. Kitamura blocked the backdrop driver. He hit a pair of big chops, but Nagata no-sold them. Both men exchanged blows until Nagata hit a wheel kick. He then hit the backdrop driver for the win.
Winner: Yuji Nagata
Star rating: (**¾) – This was another good showing for Kitamura, but he ultimately fell short to Nagata. Kitamura was competitive down the stretch and they had some good exchanges leading to Nagata getting the win.
(2) IWGP Jr. Hvt. Tag Team Champions Roppongi 3K (Sho & Yoh w/Rocky Romero) vs. Suzuki Gun (El Desperado & Kanemaru) in a Non-Title match. Sho’s back is heavily taped up. Suzuki Gun tried to get the jump on their opponents, but Sho and Yoh fired back and got the upper hand. Kevin Kelly mentioned the flu was going around the NJPW roster. Kanemaru dragged Sho to the outside and slammed him into the guardrail. Kelly mentioned Yoh had the flu earlier in the week. Suzuki Gun ended up taking control on the floor. Back inside the ring a short time later, Sho took a big double backdrop. Suzuki Gun continued to target Sho’s back as they tagged in and out. Desperado got a reverse Gory special on Sho. He really locked it in, but Sho would not tap. Sho managed to free himself and hit a lucha style arm drag. Sho finally hit a suplex on Desperado and tagged in Yoh. Yoh ran wild on Kanemaru and Desperado. He sent Kanemaru to the floor with a dragon screw. The fans fired up with a Roppongi chant. Yoh ended up running into a spinebuster from Desperado, who tagged in Kanemaru. Yoh managed to tag in Sho a short time later.
Sho went on the attack, but his back gave out when he went after Kanemaru. Sho and Yoh went to a combination attack on KAnemaru that was capped by a German with a bridge, but Desperado made the save. Roppongi 3K set up for their finish on Kanemaru, but Sho’s back out. Kanemaru hit a superplex on Sho a short time later and the fans applauded. Kanemaru got a Boston rab on Sho. Desperado cut off Yoh trying to make the save. He choked Yoh with a chair. Romero yelled at the ref and Desperado hit Sho across the back with the chair. Kanemaru then forced Sho to tap with the Boston crab.
After the match, Suzuki Gun hit a concharito on Sho’s back. Romero dove on top of Sho to save him and took a beating as well. Desperado held the titles up and Kelly said they had established themselves as the next challengers to the IWGP Jr. Hvt. Titles.
Winners: El Desperado & Kanemaru
Star rating: (***) – Solid action. Roppongi 3K could never get on track in this match with Sho’s back injury. With the ref distracted, Suzuki Gun capitalized and got the win to establish themselves as the top contenders to Roppongi 3K’s titles.
(3) Michael Elgin & Ryusuke Taguchi & KUSHIDA & Togi Makabe vs. Suzuki Gun (IWGP IC Champion Minoru Suzuki & Taka Michinoku & Taichi & Takashi Ilzuka). Makabe, who challenged Suzuki earlier in the week for the IWGP IC Championship, jumped him as he entered the ring. Everyone immediately began brawling. Later in the match, Suzuki and Makabe brawled into the crowd. Ilzuka went after Elgin with a chair as well. Taichi was shown choking Taguchi with a camera wire. Taguchi took a beating inside the ring for a long period of time. Ilzuka bit Taguchi’s rear end at one point. Taguchi finally caught Ilzuka with a hip attack and Elgin got the hot tag and ran wild. They built up to Makabe and Suzuki tagging in at the same time. They went at it and Makabe hit a HUGE running clothesline in the corner. He went to go up top, but Suzuki crotched him as he stepped through the ropes. He went for a PK, but Makabe blocked it. They began a strike exchange thanks to Makabe’s invitation to Suzuki. Callis questioned why anyone would want to trade with a nut like Suzuki. Both men continued to trade and Makabe went down to a knee a couple of times. Suzuki hit a HUGE forearm and laughed at Makabe. Both men picked up the pace and began trading. Makabe went down to a knee again. Suzuki hit another forearm and Makabe went down. Suzuki licked his lips and Makabe got up and hit several forearms. They began trading again. Suzuki got a choke and Suzuki Gun cleared the apron. They began a 4 on 1 attack on Makabe. The ref stepped in, so Ilzuka choked Makabe with a wire. He went for a cover, but Elgin dove in to make the save. The ref got distracted and Ilzuka got the iron glove, but Elgin decked him with a forearm. Makabe wiped out Suzuki and then Michinoku with western lariats. He then hit the King Kong knee drop on Michinoku for the win. Suzuki tried to get into the ring, but was held back. Makabe stared at him as the ref counted to 3.
After the match. Makabe had some words for Suzuki. He said he wanted the IWGP IC Championship. He grabbed the belt and held it up high. Suzuki ran into the ring and got the belt. Suzuki yelled at Makabe. He called Makabe a bitch and told him to go back to his cooking show. Suzuki accepted and they went at it before being pulled apart. Suzuki wiped out a Young Lion on his way to the back as Callis laughed.
Winners: Michael Elgin & KUSHIDA & Ryusuke Taguchi & Togi Makabe
Star rating: (**½) – This was fine for what it was – A good setup for Makabe vs. Suzuki for the IWGP IC Championship.
(4) Juice Robinson & David Finlay & Toa Henare vs. CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano & IWGP U.S. Champion Jay White). They did a nice touch with White getting his own entrance separate from Yano and Ishii. Henare has an issue with Ishii going into this match. Right now Hangman Page is the first challenger to White’s title. Ishii and Henare came into the ring and brawled even though neither of them were legal. Both men traded headbutts and Henare took Ishii down with a big headbutt. White accidentally ran into the exposed turnbuckle that Yano had exposed earlier in the match. Finlay lost to White earlier in the week and he tagged in and ran wild on White until he got cut off with a snap suplex. Robinson countered a double suplex attempt from Yano and Ishii into a double neck breaker as the action began to break down. White took a combination of moves capped by a top rope shoulder tackle from Henare for a near fall. White fired back and hit blade runner. He wouldn’t make the cover. He pointed at Finlay, who was being held back. He tied up Henare in the crucifix and hit elbow after elbow and the ref stopped the match. White then tied up the ref in a submission after the match was over as well.
Winners: Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano & Jay White via ref stoppage
Star rating: (*¾) – The action was lackluster, but they are doing a good job of making White into a savage with the way he’s winning matches.
A video aired with Rey Mysterio announcing he would wrestle for the very first time in NJPW. He said he wanted to wrestle Jushin Liger at Strong Style Evolved on March 25 in Long Beach, California. WOW! Liger was shown on commentary raising his fist to the crowd after Mysterio’s challenge. Kelly asked if Liger would accept, but we did not get definitive word. He then got word that Mysterio had accepted.
It’s time for the first of five singles matches featuring CHAOS vs. L.I.J.
(5) BUSHI vs. Gedo. BUSHI came out with clippers to go after Gedo’s beard. He had a Venom style mask with a little Gedo on the tongue. Gedo has been going after BUSHI’s masks. Gedo came out wearing a necklace of BUSHI’s masks. BUSHI went out to get them from Gedo, but he cut him off right away and went to work on him on the outside. Kelly mentioned that Gedo had been DQ’d previously for taking off BUSHI’s mask. He went after BUSHI’s mask, but BUSHI managed to keep it on. BUSHI fired back and went for his hedge clippers to go after Gedo’s beard, but the ref stopped him. BUSHI choked Gedo over the ring barrier and tore away at his beard. He grabbed an STF while tearing away at Gedo’s beard. Gedo fired back and went after BUSHI’s mask. The ref threatened to DQ him, so he stopped. Gedo went back after BUSHI’s mask. He tied BUSHI’s mask to the top rope to trap him in the corner. Gedo played some rope a dope with BUSHI before nailing him with some punches. BUSHI tried to free himself while the ref held Gedo back. A young boy came up to the apron with BUSHI’s clippers and cut the strings to free BUSHI.
BUSHI went on the attack a short time later and wiped out Gedo with a big dive to the floor. BUSHI ran at Gedo, who pushed him away. BUSHI ended up crashing into the ref. BUSHI went to mist Gedo, but he cut him off and hit a low blow. The fans booed. Gedo hit a superkick, but BUSHI kicked out. BUSHI hit a modified MX and then a short time later he hit the MX for the win.
Star rating: (**) – The action was solid, but this wasn’t a very exciting match.
After the match, BUSHI went under the ring to get his clippers. He went after Gedo, but was held back. BUSHI did manage to get his masks back that Gedo had ripped from his face previously.
(6) YOSHI-HASHI vs. Tetsuya Naito. HASHI jumped Naito from behind as he made his entrance. HASHI teased a dive and did Naito’s signature pose in the ring. Naito did not look impressed. Naito surprised HASHI with a kick on the floor and sent him into the barricade. He hit a big neckbreaker on the apron a short time later. Naito looked into the crowd and got a mix of cheers and boos. Naito spit out towards the crowd after listening to their reaction. HASHI fired back and hit a modified blockbuster off the ropes. He then went to town on Naito with forearms in the corner a short time later. Naito fired back and hit a neckbreaker over his knee and a dropkick to the back of the neck. Naito continued to go after HASHI’s neck. They went back and forth and HASHI sent Naito to the floor with a dropkick through the ropes. He then wiped out Naito with a Samoa Joe style flip dive.
HASHI worked the butterfly lock once Naito was back in the ring. Naito countered HASHI a short time later and hit a DDT. HASHI blocked a destino attempt and connected with a slam. They went to a slap exchange and HASHI grounded Naito with several slaps to the face. He then hit a thrust kick to Naito’s head for a near fall. He got the butterfly lock on again a short time later. Naito struggled big time to get to the ropes. The ref went to check for a stoppage, but Naito got to the ropes. Naito blocked karma, hit a slap to the face, and then hit a big release German that left both me down on the mat. Naito eventually ducked a western lariat and hit a pair of Destinos for a definitive win.
Winner: Tetsuya Naito
Star rating: (***1/4) – The outcome never really seemed in doubt. Nice win for Naito and he will apparently not go on any type of a slide after his WK loss to Okada.
After the match, Taichi attacked Naito and dragged him off the stage.
(7) IWGP Jr. Hvt. Champion Will Ospreay vs. Hiromu Takahashi. They went back and forth during the early going. Takahashi sent Ospreay to the floor and teased a dive before flipping backwards into the seated position. He told Ospreay to bring it. Ospreay fired back and kissed a Sasuke special. He landed on his feet and Takahashi hit a big release German on the floor. Takahashi targeted Ospreay’s neck on the floor before tossing him back into the ring. Ospreay finally fired back and hit a handspring enzuguri. They had a crazy exchange with Ospreay countering a sunset bomb to the floor and flipping around Takahashi’s offense. Ospreay hit a springboard phenomenal forearm on the outside and then another one inside the ring for a 2 count. Ospreay countered a belly to belly into the turnbuckles and hit a corkscrew press off the second turnbuckle to Takahashi’s legs for a 2 count. Ospreay went for another handspring a short time later, but Takahashi caught him with a release German.
Takahashi accidentally hit the ref when he was running the ropes. He hit a sunset bomb to the floor and the fans gasped. That’s just not a smart spot to repeat from match to match. He followed up with a top rope senton, which is another crazy move. Ospreay blocked a timebomb attempt, but Takahashi no sold a crescent kick and turned him inside out with a huge lariat. Takahashi went for a wheelbarrow sunset off the top, but Ospreay countered and dropped him head first over the top turnbuckle. Ospreay hit the implosion 450, but Takahashi kicked out at the last second. Ospreay hit the Robinson special, but Takahashi countered the OsCutter into a neck breaker. Both men were down and the fans fired up. They exchange blows and Takahashi went to town on Ospreay, but he fired back and hit Cheeky Nandos and then a reverse rana off the turnbuckles for a one count! Wow!! Ospreay went for a time bomb on Takahashi, but he turned it into a code red for a near fall. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!
Ospreay went for another OsCutter, but Takahashi caught him with a German. Ospreay fired right back with a one man Spanish fly. He set Takahashi up on the ropes and hit a SSP off the top. Ospreay could not put Takahashi away and hit off with your head. He followed up with the OsCutter for the win.
Winner: Will Ospreay to retain the IWGP Jr. Hvt. title
Star rating: (***3/4) – The match was a bit hard to watch at times with a ref bump for no reason and some high risk offense that had me cringing, but they really brought the match home with a strong final stretch.
(8) NEVER Openweight Champion Hirooki Goto vs. EVIL. Goto has the upper hand early, but EVIL caught him with a clothesline. EVIL wrapped a chair around Goto’s head on the floor and whipped him into the ringpost. EVIL dominated the action for a long period of time. Goto finally changed direction as they went back and forth off the ropes and caught EVIL with a clothesline that left both men down. EVIL went for darkness falls onto a pile of chairs on the floor. Goto countered it twice and suplexed EVIL into the chairs. The ref got bumped as both men battled up top. EVIL raked Goto’s eyes and shoved him to the mat. He got Goto’s big ball necklace. EVIL choked Goto with his necklace, but he suddenly fired up and hit the neck breaker over his knee. He then hit his signature kick to the chest.
EVIL blocked a GTR and hit a suplex. They went at it and neither man would go down. Goto finally crumpled EVIL with a clothesline. EVIL fired back with one of his own and hit darkness falls. EVIL signaled for the end, but Goto blocked everything is evil. Goto no sold a German only to eat a clothesline for a 2 count and both men were down again. Goto hit a draping front side GTR for a 2 count. Goto and EVIL went back and forth going for their finishes, but Goto got the final counter and hit the GTR for the win.
Winner: Hirooki Goto
Star rating: (**1/2) – This was solid, but lackluster in many ways. I think EVIL has a big upside, but I just couldn’t get into this match, as it was bland to me.
(9) IWGP Hvt. Champion Kazuchika Okada vs. SANADA. SANADA is 0-3 against Okada in singles matches. Okada is at 600 days as champion. No Gedo at ringside on this night. They went at it on the apron and SANADA suddenly jumped with Okada to send him into the guardrail. He then hit a piledriver on the entrance ramp. Okada stumbled around, but easily beat the 20 count. Okada sucked a standing moonsault, but SANADA landed on his feet and hit a dropkick for a 2 count. Okada fired back and hit a big flap jack and both men were down. SANADA tried to flip over the ropes into a springboard dropkick, but Okada nailed him with a dropkick that sent him into the barrier. Okada kicked SANADA over the barrier a short time later. He then hit a big draping DDT on the floor. Okada hit some light kicks to SANADA’s head and smiled at jinx SANADA tried to fire back, but Okada hit his swing around neck breaker to cut him off. Okada came off the top and dropped the elbow. He signaled for the rainmaker, but SANADA countered it into a big Saito suplex.
SANADA suddenly hit his signature dropkick sequence followed by a slingshot splash and the fans popped BIG TIME! He followed with a big diving splash over the top to the floor and a big SANADA chant rang out. SANADA then hit a springboard missile dropkick for a 2 count. They went back and forth and SANATA nearly had the skull end, but Okada rolled him up for a near fall at the 20 minute mark. SANADA set up for the skull end, but Okada punched out of it. SANADA hit some light kicks to Okada’s back. Okada fired up and they began to trade, but SANADA decked him with a forearm. Okada tried to fire back again only to go down to a HUGE uppercut. SANADA countered a sudden rainmaker attempt and hit a TKO for a 2 count. Okada fought out of the skull end again. He went for the cobra clutch, but SANADA fought out. They went back and forth and SANADA countered the corner dropkick and flipped out of the corner into the skull end!! WOW!!
Okada teased tapping and the ref was ready for his submission. SANADA lost the grapevine, but he got it again as Okada struggles to the ropes! The fans fired up and the ref asked Okada if he wanted to tap. Okada tried to fight out of it, but SANADA got it again. Okada suddenly slipped out and got the ropes at the 25 minute mark. Okada sucked a moonsault and SANADA appeared to hurt his knees landing on his feet. SANADA went for a dragon suplex. Okada fought out so he hit a tiger suplex with a bridge for a near fall. SANADA got the skull end on Okada as they battled up top, but he let it go and drove Okada down to the mat for a 2 count with a jumping back breaker.
He went for the skull end, but Okada countered it. He went for the rainmaker, but SANADA hit one of his own for a super close near fall! WOW!! Okada countered the skull end and applied a dragon sleeper. Okada let go and hit a dropkick to the back. He then hit a dropkick on Okada as he came off the ropes. Okada hit a big tombstone and signaled for the rainmaker. SANADA countered a rainmaker attempt and almost hit a destino, but ended up locking in the skull end instead! Wow!! Okada teased tapping and SANADA let go and hit the moonsault. He hurt his knee in the process and couldn’t make a full cover! SANADA went for another moonsault, but Okada got his knees up and hit a rainmaker. Both men were down as the match passed the 30 minute mark.
Okada got up and hit a rainmaker. He went for another, but SANADA ducked it. They went back and forth for the tombstone. They continued to go back and forth and SANADA ducked a rainmaker. He ate a jumping tombstone and then a rainmaker for the win.
Winner: Kazuchika Okada to retain the IWGP Hvt. Championship
Star rating: (****1/2) – great match. SANADA really had the crowd in Osaka believing he could win and he hit everything, but ultimately a jammed knee appeared to cost him the match.
Okada cut a promo and put over Naito, SANADA, and EVIL as being very tough. He said he wanted to compete in the NJPW Cup, which is a break from tradition. He also said he wants to go back to tradition and face the IWGP Jr. Hvt. Champion on March 6, which is an old tradition at the NJPW Anniversary show. He also promised to fill the Tokyo Dome in 2019. Gold confetti fell from the ceiling. Okada posed on the turnbuckles and held up 10 fingers to signal 10 successful title defenses.